DNA sequencing startup Helix is shuttering two offices and laying off an undisclosed number of employees as it realigns its business to emphasize healthcare partnerships over the consumer market, according to GenomeWeb. Business Insider Intelligence flagged Helix as a digital health startup to watch, in part due to its unique approach to consumer DNA testing.
Helix created an app store for DNA that collects, sequences, and stores a user’s DNA sample, and then allows consumers to purchase different testing apps and services from other genomics companies on Helix’ marketplace.
But in April 2019, Helix redefined its business focus, offering its population health solutions to health systems, payers, and researchers.
Helix’s shift in strategy makes sense, as Ancestry.com and 23andMe command the DTC market and demand for DNA testing services from health firms should be strong.
For example, the majority (82%) of C-suite executives at US hospitals and health systems say population health is “very” or “critically important” to future success, suggesting health systems may devote more resources to relationships with companies like Helix.